Cyprus Minister of Finance Michalis Sarris said on Wednesday that Cyprus is focusing on alternative solutions to stabilize the economy following the rejection of a haircut on deposits overwhelmingly rejected by the Cypriot parliament yesterday.
Sarris is in Moscow where he will meet with his Russian counterpart Anton Siluanov today in a bid to explore ways with which Russia will participate in a Russian bailout.
"We respect the parliament`s decision, which leaves us the responsibility to deal with the crisis as it is evolving. We try to find alternative solutions, the problems remain they are very serious and we must see how we can secure the big sums needed to proceed with the Cypriot bailout," he said.
Eurogroup said following its last meeting on Saturday, it is ready to grant financial assistance amounting to 10 billion, provided that Cyprus secures 5.8 billion from own resources. This funds would be secured from the proposed levy on deposits, which has been rejected by the Parliament yesterday
"A solution should be found yesterday, this is what we are desperately trying to find with one way or the other. There is not doubt that we are in state of emergency," Sarris said replying to a question, whether yesterday parliamentary rejection should expedite efforts to secure the necessary capital.
Responding to a question on his discussions with his Russian counterpart, Sarris said "we will discuss ways with which Russia could assist the efforts to secure the funds needed."
Replying to a question whether the acquisition of Cyprus Popular Bank will be on the table, Sarris said "we are trying to explore all possibilities."
"Any way with which the Russian would be interested in assisting with one way or the other, either (covering) the whole or part of our needs. This is one of the only possibilities we have to exit from this deadlock," he went on to say.
Invited to comment on statements attributed to him that Germany was not forthcoming in the last Eurogroup meeting, Sarris said the plans of Germany and the IMF were going towards bank liquidation and a bail in (deposit haircuts) which was an extreme solution," adding however that this discussion is not helpful.
"We were trying to find a solution that would not be pleasant but would at least provide an opportunity to exit from the crisis. This was not approved by the parliament and now we will see on ways we could move forward," he concluded.
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